AUSTRALIA DAY HILUX WEEKEND

Here on the Coffs Coast, we are lucky enough to have the mountains meet the sea, giving us one of the best 4wd destinations in this country. Recently I was contacted by a 4wd group who were after some advice on some local hotspots. Having a vast knowledge of this area I took the offer up and looked forward to the challenge. The date was set for the Australia Day weekend and the numbers soon increased towards 30 4wds !!. A weekend of activities was planned for some 4wd action, live entertainment, show bags for everyone, a beach drive for the kids, nightly cookups and a great camping spot, where from here we only had to travel 100 metres out of the camp gate before we locked our hubs in for some 4wd fun. Friday Creek, just 15km west of Coffs Harbour has many features including creek drives, pristine rainforest areas, old growth forests, awesome 4wd tracks and the home of a great private camping area on 100 acres. Some of the crew started turning up on the Thursday before the 4wd meet; they came from as far north as Bundaberg and south from Wollongong- it was going to be a fantastic weekend. 

Friday night there was a meet and greet around the fire, as well as a large cook-up with bbq meats, salads and drinks for everyone, we all discussed the following weekend. Saturday was a drive around the ridges from the campsite that gave us views to the north overlooking Coffs and south as far as you could see. There were ruts, heaps of mud and a few tricky side tracks. The beauty of this area is that we are so close to many creeks, so an hour into the day we decided to cool off in a local stream. Everyone was keen for another drive so we crissed crossed creeks, made short work of rocky hills and wandered back to camp for an early afternoon and prepare for another night around the fire. 

A pleasant surprise was a local girl who sung her heart out to everybody as we mingled after dinner.

Sunday morning rose and showed us another great north coast morning full of sunshine. Today we were heading further into the hinterland with a mixture of rainforest, some old mines, rocky hills and some history. The first few miles were on the dreaded tar looped around through several fertile valleys before we had a long uphill run to the tablelands over looking the coast. Our journey continued as we crossed Mount Coramba and at over 657metres high it was another uphill rocky track that tested most of these 4wds. We headed towards the sleepy village of Nana Glen where we stopped for lunch before swimming in a local waterhole. The afternoon took us further west looping around another ridge before descending deep into a valley where gold was once collected. We chose several harder hills that gave some trucks curry over rocks, through our encroaching lantana and several creek crossings. 

This bought us closer to an old near abandon town, Lowanna, where several old trains await to be restored for a local rail company who are in the process of restoring the complete rail line. We spent time here admiring the old carriages and station, but it was soon time to wander home down through the Coffs Hinterland where we often had views across tree lined ridges to the coast. The night was another fun filled evening around the fire discussing the days events and other 4wd issues. Day 3 was all about the kids. Venturing into Coffs we headed to a local beach where it is possible (and legal) to drive for a full 7km on the sand. It was another warm coastal day so after finding a quiet spot there was plenty of beach action in the water. Some of the crew wandered back to camp after we had fish and chips for lunch, to unwind beside the creek that ran through the camp. The night was a casual affair with those who were staying till tomorrow. It was a huge success, setting a high bench mark for next year.

SATURDAY.
BRIEF AND GREET 9AM- BBQ SHED
Departure time 10am.
Drive around the Friday Creek hinterland. Bring snacks and drinks for the day. Will include creek drives which will see you picking your way through large rocks and around deep pools, through hinterland rainforest where some of the side drops have a 60foot drop, see old red cedar trees that were cut at the turn of the century, watch out for the ruts where some are around 3>5 feet deep. Plenty of photo opportunities and swimming for everyone. If the weather is fine the views along the ridges will have you seeing forever. Will stop for 30 mins beside a pristine creek, great for a swim, snack,take pics or just to stretch the old legs. No toilets just trees. Depending on the stops this trip will be around 3>4 hours. After dinner there will be a local artist who will sing her heart out with her guitar around the campfire. Kids will be busy with several actives planned.

SUNDAY.
Departure time 9am.
With everybody here for the camp today we will have a 9am start. We will leave the valley and head a few kays north where we will tackle several hills on MT Coramba. Here we will have a run through some old mine areas which will have you thinking more about our area. Lunch will be in the bush somewhere-depending on how the morning goes it will be at either a grassy area or a site with a view- no toilets, just trees. A great spot for the kids to relax out of the car. From here we will 4wd, crisscrossing several ridges till we descend down to our camp site area. Trip will take around 6 hours, bring snacks,lunch and camera.

MONDAY
Departure time 9am.
After yesterdays big drive, we will venture over to the coast for the kids to beach it for several hours. Depending on the tides we can either head down towards Boambee beach ( no permits required ) which will give a full 7km beach drive. Great for finding a quiet spot behind the dunes to waste away time. If the tide isn't right we can park at Jetty beach-have a cooling swim, maybe a walk along the jetty fore shores or a stroll over Muttonbird Island. Having done all this it is a relaxed 20min drive back to camp for another night around the fire for those who are staying. Bring lunch, water- toilets are available A no stress day for those who are staying on.









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